chapter  4
12 Pages

Borders, Boundaries and Barriers

Building on Part I, Part II has explored the cultural framework of Poland during the period 1500-1650. Culturally, the period is characterised by spread of literacy, the advent of printing presses and the development of Renaissance art as the outcome of Italian influences and local patronage and taste. The promotion of education led to widespread achievement of a 'common cultural foundation', while the Jagiellonian University and other academies flourished. Additionally, the proliferation of funerary sculpture served as a vehicle for the expression of the 'new style' and for the expression of Renaissance-Sarmatian ideology. The spread of patronage meant that burghers also commissioned funeral monuments, in emulation of the szlachta. The particular power equation between patrons and artists meant that artists followed their patrons' wishes. This would suggest that the iconographical programme on the monuments came from the patrons, which may explain why the reclining putto motif, though executed initially by Italian artists, is not found on child monuments in Italy.